How to Apply

Call for 2024–2025 Applicants Opens on December 15, 2023!

We will be accepting 5 new students into the Program in Spring 2024. For more detailed instructions, please read through the information, below.


The Hubbard Brook Field Ornithology Program is open to enrolled Cornell undergraduates in their first, second or third years. We welcome interest from students whether they are motivated to learn field techniques and contribute to ongoing field research on birds at Hubbard Brook and/or imagine collaborating to conduct their own research project under the broader aims of our current research.

Research and Fieldwork Opportunities

Independent research. For students interested in collaborating to conduct independent research, we will work together to develop a research project and proposal after your first summer at Hubbard Brook, apply for funding to support your research (as needed), apply field techniques you learned in your first summer to a research question the following summer, learn data management and analysis, and write/present. Many students join the program to pursue their honors thesis, which is highly encouraged. If the results prove to be interesting and robust, you will work on preparing a manuscript as first-author or coauthor for peer-reviewed publication.

Collaborate. We are also interested in involving students that contribute their efforts to our field project in research during the following academic year that will lead to manuscripts led by the Director and project collaborators, based on shared research interests. This could include data and sample processing, literature reviews, and other contributions that earn you coauthorship. We have many active areas of inquiry: climate change/changing seasonality, mating systems and reproductive strategies, female and male ornamentation, vocal communication, post-fledging ecology, nest construction, predation risk “fear effects”, and diet flexibility.

Field training and experience. Learning the field techniques we use to study birds at Hubbard Brook is valuable for pursuing different career paths in avian ecology. We also welcome students that show a genuine interest in our current research and wish to join us for the summer to learn field techniques to aid them in their future aspirations.


During the summer months, the Hubbard Brook Field Ornithology Program provides a weekly stipend and housing at the Likens Conservation Campus on Mirror Lake for 10-12 weeks. During each semester of the academic year that you contribute to or conduct collaborative research, you will register to earn 1–3 research credits in BIOG 2990/4990.

The Program – Independent Research track

Our goal is to expose you to the full research process, from project conception and design through field training, data collection and analysis, to writing and presenting your work. Research is fundamentally time-intensive. You will need to be able to dedicate 6–8 hours a week during the academic semesters if you choose to conduct independent research.

You will work with the Director to develop an independent research project and assist others. You also have the opportunity to work together to develop and participate in outreach projects to broaden the impacts of our collaborative research to the community.

During each semester of the program, you will be expected to:

  • Participate in weekly lab meetings to discuss past and current bird research at Hubbard Brook, share research ideas, and participate in professional development activities
  • Meet with the Program Director every other week to share progress on your research project